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Editor's Letter: Hope
The timely and successful rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme will determine how fast India will traverse the road to economic recovery
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“It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.” — The Dalai Lama
January has been a month of momentous moments – what with the vaccination drive beginning in India and Joe Biden and Kamala Devi Harris taking office in the United States. India of course, views Biden’s ascent to the White House as an opportunity for better relations with the US in the future, but more on this later.
Here at home in India, the vaccination drive kicked off on 16 January. The goal was to vaccinate 3,00,000 people across the country on day one. One of the world’s largest, the drive was hailed as ‘the beginning of the end of Covid-19’ by the Union Health Minister. Despite the initial glitches expected when such a mammoth task is undertaken, close to two lakh people were vaccinated on day one – and that is no mean feat! The drive evoked sighs of relief, but seems to have slowed down since with growing hesitancy over the inoculation.
The hesitancy seems to be rooted in inadequate information about the newly developed vaccines. The whole process of developing these vaccines was hastened, leading to apprehensions about their efficacy. Over the next few weeks hopefully, no significant adverse effects will be reported, the apprehensions will fade and Indians will be more willing to get the jab. The vaccine does seem to be the answer to this dreadful virus.
The vaccination drive is the cover feature of this issue. We look at the distribution of the vaccine across the country and of course, it’s impact on the economy. We speak to Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute and Dr Krishna Ella, CMD, Bharat Biotech, about the efficacy of the vaccines these facilities have developed and map the successes and challenges of the entire process. Along with our research partners, Primus Partners, we study the preparedness of the states for the inoculation drive.
Apart from focussing on the topic of the moment, we also probe into and map Budget expectations from across sectors. Experts and industry leaders give their views on what they expect from Union Budget 2021-22. The new year has brought to the fore innovations and transformations in various areas that India Inc. has embraced. We bring to you opinions of specialists on trends that are expected to dominate in the year ahead.
The Last Word in this issue, is my conversation with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditya Nath. He talks of the road ahead for the state and the country. In addition, this issue offers all the regular columns that you look forward to. We hope you enjoy reading the magazine just as much as we did putting it together.